Newlyweds’ stranded on Scottish island saved by Hebridean airline

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A tiny island air carrier has stepped in to give a loved-up couple a chance of making it to Thailand for their honeymoon.

Nici Gurney and Mathieu Willcocks risked being stranded on a Scottish island before one of country’s smallest air carriers stepped in.

The couple were stranded on the tiny island of Coll. Picture: Google Maps/ Wiki commons

The couple were stranded on the tiny island of Coll. Picture: Google Maps/ Wiki commons

As they prepared for their big day on the Isle of Coll, the couple realised they wouldn’t be able to get away quickly enough to connect with their honeymoon flights to Thailand.

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But in true fairytale fashion, one of Scotland’s smallest air carriers came to the rescue of the couple, who were Thailand-bound last night.

Hebridean Air Services (HAS) put on an extra service so that the couple, both 29, could reach the mainland for their flight.

Everything started off well with guests arriving from all over the world for the service on Coll in the Inner Hebrides.

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Mrs Gurney said: “People say it is the best day of your life and I didn’t really believe them and it really was the perfect day.

“Matt is half Italian and his family came over from Italy and that great, from Piedmont, and we had friends from Sweden and Thailand, it was really great.”

But difficulties arose when they realised that the only ferry service running on Monday got them to Oban too late for connecting trains and flights.

That was when Mrs Gurney tried calling Dixie Porter from Hebridean Air Services.

Mrs Gurney said: “I phoned up and asked if there was anything that could be done and Dixie Porter was incredible.

“She called around a few people and came back to me saying “we are going to put on an extra flight as a wedding present.”

Ms Porter said: “Because there has been so much ferry disruption, our first Monday morning flight from Coll to Oban was full.

“We put on an extra flight for Monday morning to allow the couple to get back to the mainland in time to catch a flight to go on their honeymoon to Thailand.”

And despite the short flight from Coll to Oban being slightly delayed Mrs Gurney was not complaining yesterday, adding “Hebridean Airways were brilliant - they went out of their way to help us.”

CalMac has had to redeploy ferries from one route to an other causing delays and reduced services due to damage done to the MV Clansman.

The vessel sustained damage to its propeller and its prop shaft while attempting to enter dry dock for routine maintenance, leading to a significant time out of action.

Hebridean Air Services has only two planes with nine passenger seats each.

They serve Coll, Colonsay, Tiree, Islay and Oban, it is subsidised by Argyll & Bute Council.